Modern minds within the secular media are presenting an unscientific duality of thought when praising engineering complexity in man-made machines, glorying in the great creative advances of mankind, but presenting the complexity of the world around us (of often far greater intricacy than man-made machines) as due to a gigantic unplanned cosmic experiment, with no Creator.
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Art Students Get Unexpected Dose of Creation Geology from Commencement Speaker 05/31/2002
An actively cycling eukaryotic cell expends between 35% and 60% of its total nuclear transcription effort in making the 18S, 5.8S, and 28S ribosomal RNAs (rRNA) (Paule, 1998 , and references therein). The 5S rRNA and the small nucleolar RNAs required for ribosome biogenesis, account for another 10% to 20%. Thus, the assembly of the translational machinery occupies around 80% of nuclear transcription in yeast, while in the proliferating mammalian cell as much as 50% is dedicated to this goal. Even relatively small changes in this commitment are likely to have extensive repercussions on the cells economy, limiting proliferation rates and perhaps even cell fate. ... Though little is known of the changes that occur in vivo, one would suspect that, given the longevity of ribosomes and the highly variable proliferation rates of different somatic cell types, rRNA transcription rates must be regulated over a wide range if neither a ribosome deficit nor an overproduction is to occur.The minireview by Tom Moss and Victor Stefanovsky, At the Center of Eukaryotic Life, goes on to describe many functions of ribosomal RNA, including regulatory functions previously unknown. rRNA molecules appear to silence some genes, a mystery that may be explained by having backup copies available in case damage occurs to the highly active rRNA genes. They conclude, Recent work argues that the rRNA genes are not simply bystanders in the decisions on cell fate. Understanding the regulatory network surrounding the rRNA genes is then an essential part of understanding cell growth regulation. It may even turn out that the housekeeper is in fact keeping the house.
Housekeeper? Doesnt that imply intelligent design? Here is another subsystem that was considered a bystander but turns out to be a high-level manager. Without tight management performed by rRNA, the cell would die. Notice how much equipment and design goes into translation of DNA, which speaks of a language convention (see our May 22 commentary), another indicator of design. Evolutionists imagine all this complex equipment originating from simple RNA ribozymes, which show (under controlled lab conditions) a little activity and replication, but there is a tremendous gap in complexity between artificial ribozymes and the machinery found in single-celled eukaryotes, like yeast. How did yeast figure out it might be good to have hundreds of backup copies, and evolve the equipment to keep them locked up until an emergency? These are capabilities far in excess of what is needed for survival. Yet evolutionists ask us to believe this complexity arose by a process that cant even add 1.5% length to a bird beak in 30 years. Natural selection, wandering aimlessly in the dark, is wholly incapable of such complex, interdependent operations.Mouse Genome Released; Overturns Evolutionary Notions 05/31/2002
The full genome of the mouse has been released, and already long-held notions are being overturned, writes Elizabeth Pennisi writing in the May 31 online edition of Science. The 1970s picture of a genome as being a string of genes linked together, for one, has been overturned in the last 30 years as scientists realize that there are long sections of non-coding DNA, parts that have been duplicated or inserted or transposed, and more. Another surprise is that some of these non-coding regions, which evolutionists thought were free to mutate without harming the organism, appear conserved between human and mouse, and that different parts of the genome appear to mutate at radically different rates if animals diverged from a common ancestor. Evolutionary biologists appear to be in for hard times explaining some of the findings. For one, writes Pennisi, it will complicate the work of evolutionary biologists, who often attempt to date when new species emerged using so-called molecular clocks. These clocks depend on the relative number of mutations in a species and are based on the premise that they tick at a constant rate throughout the history of the DNA. A number of skeptics have questioned the reliability of these clocks (Science, 5 March 1999, p. 1435), and the new findings could provide them with new ammunition.
Weve been reporting this fact for months (see Feb 26 and Oct 1, for instance). The picture is complicated and confusing, certainly not what one would expect if evolution were true. Whatever the genome story is telling, it is not a simple evolutionary tale. Genomes are evolving in a completely nonuniform way, complains one biologist, and another mourns that the wide variation in mutation rates in non-coding regions is a complication we didnt anticipate. Maybe it would make more sense if they looked at the genomes with a focus on function rather than phylogeny; i.e., intelligent design instead of evolution.Mars May Have Enough Water to Flood Planet 05/30/2002
The BBC News reports that Mars may have enough ice locked up in the soil (see May 28 headline) to have flooded the planet in the past. The article states, The underground ice solves one of the deepest and longstanding mysteries about the Red Planet: where did the water go?
Observation 1: Mars has no liquid water now, but could have had a worldwide flood in the past. Observation 2: Earth has a surface 70% covered by liquid water and could have had a worldwide flood in the past. Skeptic: Noahs Flood is just a legend. Where did the water come from? Where did it go?How Did Uranus and Neptune Form? 05/30/2002
The June 2002 issue of Sky and Telescope NewsNotes section, p. 20, laments the problems of explaining the ice giants: Pity Uranus and Neptune. Not only do they evade the naked eye and underwhelm the telescope, no one can even explain why they exist. The three leading proposals all have problems:
Other puzzles about these ice giants, Uranus and Neptune, include their ring systems (which appear young and tenuous), their strange moons like Miranda (which has composite terrains with sharp edges and one of the highest cliffs in the solar system), Ariel (whose canyon floors appear to have been resurfaced by a fluid), and Triton (a large body that orbits retrograde and, though -391oF, has active geysers, a fresh-looking surface and complex terrain). In addition, there are the extremely high winds on Neptune (fastest in the solar system), the oddity that Uranus is tipped on its side, and the magnetic fields which are highly inclined from the poles and offset from the center of mass. Compare the head-scratching and hand-wringing in this story with the neat, computer graphic simulations of solar system evolution seen on educational TV shows and diagrams in textbooks. Time to face the real worlds.Membrane Channels Are Doorways to Health or Death 05/29/2002
The latest issue of Neuron, May 30 has an essay about membrane channels and their importance. The authors of Channels Gone Bad begin,
Channels regulate ion flow across membranes and are an essential component of cell function. Indeed, nearly all cell membranes contain ion channels, proteins with diverse roles, and sometimes highly complex behaviors. Channels are activated and inactivated by many signals and their function regulated by countless processes. Yet, beware of the aberrant channel. Channels that open when they shouldnt, channels that do not open very well or at all, channels that stay open too long, misplaced channels, lack of channels, too many channels; all these scenarios can have disastrous consequences.They describe some of the horrible consequences of mistakes in the genes that code for these complex proteins: cancer, numerous types of disease, and death.
Weve reported several interesting discoveries recently about these amazing channels. Here is another complex function active transport that would have had to be operational early on in chemical evolution, independently of the origin of the genetic code, translation mechanism, and reproduction, to allow nutrients to enter and waste to exit. So many precise parts would have had to come together simultaneously to evolve a living cell, that it is incredible to believe it could ever happen by chance. Not only are these channels precision engineered gates, this article shows that small abnormalities wreak havoc. Read our previous entries about potassium channels, chloride channels, and water channels and stand in awe of the wonders within your body keeping you functioning right now without your conscious thought or control.Pulsar Ages Are All Mixed Up 05/28/2002
The June issue of Sky and Telescope is on newsstands, and its NewsNotes highlights what it calls The Pulsar Age Crisis. Findings that some appear older than previously believed, and one pulsar perhaps 15 times younger than earlier reported, undermine a seemingly secure corner of astronomy. Age-dating a pulsar by the amount of proper motion from the center of the supernova remnant often disagrees wildly from estimates of its spin-down time, the previous standard of dating. One astronomer comments, These results make people aware of the uncertainty, especially in the case of young pulsars, and of the assumptions that go into the age estimates.
At least theyre honest about it, but this was one of the secure corners of astronomy; what confidence do we have that the proper motion technique is any more reliable? Those rely on assumptions, too.Mammal Family Tree A Conflicting Tangle 05/28/2002
An international team of zoologists publishing in the May 28 online preprints of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examined the mitochondrial DNA of 60 mammalian species and tried to construct an evolutionary family tree. Although some relationships were listed as strongly supported, their article mentions a number of controversies in the ranks, and their resulting tree seems to break other pet theories, as these excerpts indicate [emphasis and bracketed words added]:
We apologize for the length of this entry, but sometimes the devil is in the details. We wanted our readers to experience the sweating that goes on behind closed academic doors trying to put together an evolutionary tale for the textbooks and media sound bites. Does anyone feel confident that evolutionists have a consistent story here? That this paper makes things better? That evolution just jumps right out of the data? That they are making progress? Ever since Linnaeus, morphology (outward appearance and skeletal structure) has been the gold standard for establishing taxonomy, and ever since Darwin, morphology has been the basis for building family trees (phylogenies). But now that we have means of comparing genes, mitochondrial DNA and proteins, the picture is more confused than ever. Old favorite groupings are out, and strange bedfellows are in. The PBS Evolution series boasted about the clear family tree of whales, but this is contradicted in quote 7 above. Quote 13 seems to say that the data only match when unrooted; i.e., not having a common ancestor so where is the evolution?Mars Soil Loaded with Water Ice 05/28/2002
Latest neutron measurements from the new Mars Odyssey spacecraft indicate high levels of hydrogen in the first meter of Martian soil within 60o of the poles, which scientists are interpreting as abundant water ice, 20% to 50% by mass.
Were not surprised. Some of Saturns moons and rings are nearly 100% water ice. Ice is not water, and water is not life. What are the implications for life? asks the press release. Well give evolutionists all the earth-like planets they want, with oceans galore; life is another story.Key Evolutionary Speciation Mechanism Questioned 05/28/2002
The founder effect (developed by Ernst Mayr in 1954) has been challenged by a team of scientists publishing in the May 28 online preprints of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Textbooks commonly show this effect, where a small population or single breeding pair enters a new habitat (the founders) and starts a new population that rapidly develops into a new species. (Technically, the founders create a genetic bottleneck because of reduced heterozygosity of alleles, allowing greater expression of recessive characters.)
The authors are not denying evolution, of course, but they provide another damaging admission that an example used repeatedly of speciation by natural evolutionary means is wrong, when checked in a real-world case. We have seen this kind of reality check before, often, in these pages. Evolution makes big, bold headlines, but the retractions are often made in fine print in the back pages years later, in scientific journals rarely seen by the public. When things you were taught turn out to be false, we think thats news thats fit to print. Their retractions are our headlines.New Images of Io Show Active Volcanism 05/28/2002
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has released nine new images of Io taken during the October 16, 2001 flyby of the Galileo spacecraft. The images show several surprises, such as mountains 19,700 feet high and the crater of a previously-imaged volcanic plume 239 miles high. Scientists infer a possible possible lava lake at the foot of Tohil Mons, because no landslide debris is seen at the foot of the mountain. Io is a weird place, comments Torrence Johnson. Without plate tectonics, Io appears to build its mountains by thrust faults. Many of the volcanic craters appear to lie within collapsed calderas.
Amazing and exciting discoveries here. It seems hard to believe these processes could have been going on for 4.5 billion years. Well have to see what explanations the scientists give for this tiny moon having the largest and most active volcanoes in the solar system.Stephen Hawking Says God Rolled Loaded Dice 05/27/2002
According to WorldNetDaily, Stephen Hawking believes God may play dice after all, contradicting Einsteins famous assertion that God does not play dice with the universe. Hawking and colleague Thomas Hertog are advocating a top-down cosmology (working from the present back) instead of the usual bottom-up approach (working from initial conditions forward). He believes quantum mechanics dictates this approach, because it explains not how the universe should be, but why the universe is the way it is.
This is, of course, the Weak Anthropic Principle, which is a cop-out, not an explanation. It states merely that if the universe werent in the ideal state it is, we wouldnt be here arguing about whether its existence were possible. But we are here, so the universe of reality cries out for an explanation worthy of its fine-tuned existence..Proposed Ohio Science Framework Squeezes out I.D., Dogmatizes Darwin 05/24/2002
A draft science standard document for the Ohio School Board is more Darwinistic than ever, claims Answers in Genesis. In spite of widespread support by the public to include arguments on both sides, the writers of the new draft standard utterly ignored ID [intelligent design] or any aspect of the controversy about evolution in their revision. The article contains a statement by a nationally recognized science teacher in Ohio who argues for allowing students to hear both sides.
Evolutionary dogma only succeeds by silencing the opposition. Repeatedly in college debates and other forums where both sides have equal opportunity to present the scientific evidence, evolutionists lose; only a small minority favor their case. That is the reason for the zeal of the NCSE and the Darwin party to forbid all mention of alternatives, even if it means presenting blatant falsehoods in favor of evolution, because once students and the public are exposed to evidence on both sides, theres no contest. Is this the way you want science taught to your children? Read the teachers true examples of falsehoods taught in the name of evolution. Creationists and advocates want people to hear both sides of the controversy, while evolutionists want to shove the evidence into the closet and say, What controversy? Evolution is a fact.Apes Use Stone Tools, Too 05/24/2002
ScienceNow has a news summary of a paper in the May 24 online issue of Science about a nut-cracking galley used by chimpanzees. This opens a new field of human evolution studies called ape archaeology. If similar sites are found in the fossil record, perhaps the evolution of human tool use could be traced. Tim White of the University of California cautions, however, that even the simplest hominid tool site is fundamentally different from the chimpanzee nutcracking site, where the apes simply use unmodified stones as hammers against other stones.
Lets give credit to the ingenuity a Creator would give to His creatures so that they could eat and survive in the wild. Whats so big about tool use? Even birds use tools to dig bugs out of wood. If a bird can build an elaborate nest, and a beaver an architecturally-sound dam, and honeybees a geometrical hive, whats the big deal about apes pounding nuts with rocks? Evolutionists are driven by the desire to show there is no essential difference between me and thee and the chimpanzee.Binary Asteroids Puzzle Astronomers 05/24/2002
A team of planetary scientists from Caltech, NASA, JPL and Cornell writing in the May 24 online issue of Science discusses the unusually high number of asteroids that have companions orbiting them. About 16% of studied near earth asteroids (NEA) have companions, and the parent bodies have a spherical shape that indicates they did not simply split apart. Afer ruling out impacts and capture as the most likely mechanisms, the authors hypothesize that breakup of loosely bound aggregates from tidal stresses during near-planet encounters might explain their numbers and orbital characteristics the best. The problem is that this mechanism could only keep binaries together for 10 million years, less than one 400th the assumed age of the solar system, so why are binaries so common?
No one anomaly like this means the solar system is younger than believed, because there is always some explanation that can be offered. But when you find numerous other phenomena that are short-lived, like ring arcs around Neptune, young rings around Saturn, an atmosphere on Titan that cant survive for long, young meteorites and lunar craters, hot violent volcanos on a tiny moon, short-lived radioisotopes in the solar wind, young-looking structures on icy Callisto, small moons with too much heat, comets still burning up when the source is smaller than previously thought, and Mars covered with mind-boggling features, these observations together have to make you wonder how firm that often-touted number of 4.5 billion years is, considering that scientists still cant explain how the solar system formed in the first place. It is only the radioactive dating of certain asteroids that yields the standard old age, but what if there are other explanations for that? Should not all these other considerations, taken together, have some weight on dating the solar system? The only reason that the old age date is untouchable is that a young solar system would not provide the vast periods of time evolutionists need to account for life on earth. As if that would help them; we invite our readers to wade through the Chain Links on Origin of Life and see all the hand-wringing going on there, too.Cats Have Evolved to Manipulate Their Owners 05/23/2002
Evolution has given your cat the ability to make you give it what it wants, claims Nicholas Nicastro, a graduate student in evolutionary psychology at Cornell University. The BBC News reports that Nicastro played 100 different recorded cat calls to a group of 26 humans and asked them to rate the pleasantness of the sounds to conclude that cats have evolved the right tones in their meows [American spelling] to get humans to give them food, or pet them, or otherwise manipulate their owners. SciNews also discusses this story as an experiment on the evolutionary process of artificial selection. Others are skeptical and claim this has nothing to do with evolution or genetics. Nicastro, however, explains, Cats are domesticated animals that have learned what levers to push, what sounds to make to manage our emotions. And when we respond, we too are domesticated animals.
Lamarckism is alive and well at Cornell. Dr. John Bradshaw of Southampton University correctly argued, The idea that a female would go up to a male in a back alley somewhere and say, could I hear your miaow [British spelling] to see if the kittens you father will be appealing to people, couldnt happen. Cats dont have that level of communication.Intact DNA Found in 465 Million Year Old Salt 05/23/2002
English scientists writing in the May 23 issue of Nature, report recovering bacterial DNA samples from several salt deposits they estimated are 11 to 465 million years old. The DNA sequences, taken from evaporite deposits in Michigan, Poland and Thailand, were nearly identical to each other and to living counterparts. They write, The close relatives of these salt-crystal phylotypes are thus ubiquitous, and live in a wide variety of environments, including the subsurface. Therefore, it is probable that some of these related but geographically distinct organisms have been separated for millions of years, yet they still share very similar 16S rRNA sequences. This lends support to the argument that the molecular clock may be slow in certain phylogenetic lineages. They conclude that DNA entrapped in halite can survive over geological timescales....
Something sounds drastically wrong with their assumptions. DNA intact after 465 million years? How can this fragile molecule survive splitting continents, asteroid impacts, mountain building episodes, floods, earthquakes and other earth-shattering events? And where is the evolution after all that time? How did identical bacterial DNA get spread around the world, and show no change to the present? Doesnt this throw out all the other evolution papers that depend on the molecular clock? Isnt it more likely these deposits are young? Could evolution be a myth? Question authority (when the authority is questionable).Self-Replicating Evolutionary Cycle Demonstrated in Test Tube 05/22/2002
A paper by a team of Japanese chemists in the May 21 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences entitled, Importance of compartment formation for a self-encoding system, claims to have demonstrated that, if tightly compartmentalized, a gene and the protein that reads it can maintain a hypercycle of reactions that is evolvable and can replicate itself through at least ten generations. The cycle breaks down in three generations if not compartmentalized. Moreover, the successful compartmentalized products showed variation under the selection pressure of the compartments that could have led to further evolution (although the mutations actually observed appeared to be either deleterious or neutral). They used off-the-shelf DNA polymerase in a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with in vitro protein synthesis in their laboratory. They describe their results and its implications for evolutionary theory:
Here, we showed a sustainable in vitro self-encoding system, where the genotype-phenotype dichotomy gyrated in a cyclical feedback coupling of the translated product, the DNA polymerase, and the replicated gene of its own throughout the evolutionary process. In addition, the system was also proven effective in evolving molecules based on functional selection. From the fact that functional selection comes into effect through imposed strict compartition on a self-encoding system, we may assume that primitive life used occasional subsequent dilution and compartition for its evolution. When some of the replicators adopt strict compartition, their information will become digitalized and the system will become evolvable.Recalling the RNA World hypothesis for how the first self-replicating, self-encoding cycle might have begun, they see a bright future: As evolution proceeded, the replicator may have taken a more sophisticated mechanism, such as dividing vesicles, leading to the development of a whole arsenal of integrated networks that render the present status of cells. Considering the robotics-supported technology of directed molecular evolution, it may not be too far to see the evolution of more sophisticated self-encoding system in the near future.
This paper sparked our interest, because it seemed to be claiming that scientists had almost created life in a test tube. It seemed to be saying that they got a gene and a protein to dance together in a self-replicating, self-encoding cycle that demonstrated how simple molecules could have started an evolutionary path that led to (eventually) intelligent biochemists who could recreate the process in a laboratory. Isnt this a beautiful example of evolutionary theory verified by empirical methods? Doesnt this show the superiority of naturalism over design, in that it leads to testable experiments instead of speculations about some undefined Mind out there? Doesnt this experiment, and others in the references, show the plausibility of chemical evolution? No; this was an experiment demonstrating intelligent design.Chuck Colson Encourages Viewers to Ask PBS to Air Intelligent Design Documentary 05/21/2002
In his daily BreakPoint radio feature for May 21, Chuck Colson spoke highly of the new film Unlocking the Mystery of Life (March 2002), and suggested viewers call their local PBS station to air it alongside the PBS Evolution series, that is in reruns this month. He said, Its just basic intellectual fairnessand smart programming to boot!
This film is available on our products page, in many local Christian bookstores, and from Illustra Media. A definitive and beautifully-edited documentary on the intelligent design arguments, we cannot recommend it too highly. Dr. John Morris, President of ICR, said this past weekend that he is not typically an emotional guy, but when he first watched Unlocking the Mystery of Life, he jumped out of his chair and shouted Glory! He called it the best film he had ever seen on the evidence for design and complexity of the cell. It is wonderful it is wonderful! he said.Home Schoolers Dig Up Intact Allosaurus 05/21/2002
According to WorldNetDaily, a scientific expedition led by a creationist organization with home school student volunteers has dug up a rare 22-foot long allosaurus skeleton, with all its bones intact, in northwest Colorado. The fossil shows evidence of flood deposition, according to the team. Nearby a 100-foot sauropod has been found, possibly an ultrasaurus, composing a good-sized hill. The rich fossil site is owned by a Christian home schooling couple committed to Biblical creationism. They are giving creationist paleontologist their turn at discovery in a field long dominated by evolutionists. Another report on this discovery can be found on ScienceNewsWeek, which quotes a paleontologist saying this is a very rare and valuable find.
Outrageous! That kids and Christians and creationists should be allowed to touch these priceless specimens! Why, they might not understand how old these dinosaurs are and how they fit into evolutionary history! Relax, evolutionists. Fossils are not your exclusive property. We can separate technique from interpretation, and the bones are being carefully excavated and documented by trained paleontologists. The data will be carefully preserved and displayed; you can write up your own interpretation if you wish. As long they follow high standards of excavation, give kids a chance to find a dinosaur bone. Theyre going to learn a lot, and hear all the evidence. What a great science project for the next science fair! Think of all the envious kids gawking at the display of a 22 foot allosaurus with a skull a yard long. Cool!Noted Evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould Dies 05/20/2002
One of the most well-known and controversial of evolutionists, Stephen Jay Gould, died of cancer today, announced CNN. Gould, paleontologist at Harvard, was a prolific writer and popularizer of science. He was simultaneously a thorn in the sides of neo-Darwinists, whom he criticized vehemently while promoting his own theory of punctuated equilibria, while at the same time united with them in fervent opposition to creationists.
Our sympathies to the family of Gould. He was an excellent and engaging writer, often stepping on the toes of his colleagues while being boldly forthright in his criticism of unsubstantiated evolutionary beliefs like gradualism, racism, eugenics, and the recapitulation theory. Creationists often enjoyed the fight from the sidelines, as Gould made enemies with the gradualists like Richard Dawkins and pointed out the holes in their thinking, especially the systematic gaps in the fossil record, which he called the trade secret of paleontology. The gradualists would respond by lambasting his punctuated equilibria hypothesis as an ad hoc suggestion without evidence or mechanism. Nevertheless, they were united in their intolerance of creationism. Gould was incensed at creationists who used his arguments against gradualism as arguments against evolution (see our May 3 entry), to which creationists responded that facts are facts no matter who says them, and criticisms are especially noteworthy when coming from an insider.Life Didnt Begin in Hot Springs 05/20/2002
Life was cool or lukewarm when it emerged, says Science Now, summarizing a report in the May 16 Nature. The French team compared RNA sequences with a computer looking for evolutionary ancestry, and did not see hyperthermophiles as likely candidates. A theory for the origin of life around deep-sea hydrothermal vents or in hot springs became popular 20 years ago, but The new study swings the pendulum back the other way, [Martin] Embley [Natural History Museum of London] says: This is another piece of evidence that there are problems with the classic thermophile RNA tree. The researchers say, If our finding is verified, the origin of Bacteria should be seriously reconsidered.
What this means is that the options for those believing in spontaneous generation are narrowing again. Weve had years of Discovery Channel documentaries with colorful images of deep sea vents and hot springs touted as the nurseries of life, but now that is unlikely. Recently we saw that salt water is not the nursery, either, but more like the slaughterhouse. Basically, all the old images you saw about primordial soup are wrong. Astrobiologists are so desperate, they are looking to asteroids and comets bringing biological molecules to earth (where they will fall apart anyway). We have some ballads for those who trust in such things.The Universe Computed Life 05/20/2002
If the universe is a big computer, it might have computed life, speculates Science Now. Mathematician Seth Lloyd of MIT calculated the computational capacity of the universe. According to the summary of his paper to be published in Physical Review Letters, the universe might be a gigantic computer of sorts and the numbers might represent the calculations it has done so far. If the universe is a computer, it might be programmed by random quantum fluctuations, Lloyd says, and that might explain complex phenomenon such as life.
This is really, really, really stupid. If this, then maybe this, they maybe this... when the whole presupposition is preposterous. This belief is visualizing shapes in the clouds, seeing a face that looks like Webster, and making the cloud the author of the dictionary. It is ancient idolatry and animism dressed up in third millennium garb.Proteins Climb Mountains 05/20/2002
Scientists at Caltech have found that proteins climb an energy mountain to get home. Nature Science Update describes how a protein chain begins as a string of amino acids, but must go through a complicated folding process that it calls one of biologys fundamental mysteries. The scientists measured the energy landscape in the folding process. To get to its native fold, in which it is properly folded and functional, it must climb an energy mountain and settle in just the right valley on the other side. On the way, there are several pitfalls that the protein must avoid or else it becomes a useless tangle. Their research is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
This is amazing. It bears directly on the old philosophical question of necessity vs contingency: are biological processes inevitable results of the laws of nature (necessity), or unlikely consequences out of a host of possibilities (contingency)? It appears the latter is true in this case. The protein chain does not do what just comes naturally. It must be guided against its natural tendencies to get to the proper shape. Without the proper shape, it is useless or even dangerous.British Scientists Demand End to Darwin Monopoly 05/17/2002
CNN reports from London that a group of 30 scientists has written to the British Department of Education, arguing that scientific study into the origins of man should not be limited to Darwins theory of evolution. The group including eminent scientists in biology, physics, geology and chemistry is calling for active debate in the countrys schools. The letter was triggered by the media furor over Emmanuel College inviting a creation speaker, which angered pro-evolution advocates into calling for an examination into its teaching policies, even though the private college had recently received high marks for excellence. Andrew McIntosh, professor at Leeds University and one of the signers (see a quote by him on the masthead of this page) said, Let there be open debate in the schools and universities of England.
Hear, hear! This is another indication of cracks in the Darwinian edifice. Most likely, this letter will be ignored and shoved aside by the Board, and the pro-Darwin forces will ridicule and lambaste it in the press, but for how much longer? How long can the Darwin-only party fail to provide answers for the origin of life, fail to provide answers for the complexity of life, base their theory on just-so stories, then turn around and argue that no alternatives are allowed? How much longer can they justify suppressing evidence that undermines their monopoly? How much longer will the public buy the line that science rules out anything but methodological naturalism, or that the only proponents of intelligent design are kooks and pseudoscientists? Not for long, we think. (See our next headline for a good example of amazing design inexplicable by evolution.) The Berlin wall between materialism and intelligent design is poised for a demolition celebration by the people, and you know what side of the wall the totalitarians are on; theyre the ones with the furrowed brows who erected the wall in the first place.DNA Has Its Own Immune System: RNA 05/17/2002
The May 17 issue of Science has a special Viewpoint feature about the RNA library, or RNome (the RNA counterpart of the genome). We all know about DNA and proteins; RNA was long thought to be just the messenger/translator between the two. Scientists have increasingly found RNA molecules, however, to perform many crucial functions including signalling and expressing genes.
We thought the DNA genome itself was enough to make people stand in awe of the Creator, but then came the proteome, and now the RNome. This adds two more levels of complexity to what was already incredible, and should triple our awe. Imagine hundreds of thousands of finely-crafted parts, all interacting together, performing thousands of complicated functions with precision and split-second timing, and you begin to get an idea of what goes on in every cell of your body, and in the tiniest microbe in a warm little pond. Most of these authors never mention evolution once. Those that do speak in glittering generalities about which groups of organisms have this system or that, but never do they give a detailed description of how this system could have arisen in small steps, each step providing an survival advantage, when none of these complex molecules will form naturally without coded instructions and machines to build them. Surely biochemistry will spell the death of Darwinism; its only a matter of time.Asteroid Crash Accelerated Rise of Large Dinosaurs 05/17/2002
Big rocks slamming into earth not only kill things, they build them, according to a team of researchers writing in the May 16 Science. They think an impact at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary led to the rise of the really big lizards. The evidence is based on footprint counts and a modest iridium anomaly. Richard Kerr in his summary indicates that not all scientists are convinced. The slight iridium excess at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary could have been from volcanos or geochemical processes, not an asteroid. Nevertheless, the story made the CBS radio news, and other popular outlets like National Geographic jumped on the story, saying, It may well be that catastrophic events have a far more profound effect in the shaping of life than people had previously thought. See also: Nature Science Update.
Evolution is the modern Phoenix myth. Out of disaster rises new and improved life. Try it as a science project.How Insect Heads Evolved 05/16/2002
In the May 16 issue of Nature, paleontologist Graham E. Budd from Uppsala University in Sweden has written a paper called, A palaeontological solution to the arthropod head problem. He begins with a statement of the problem: The composition of the arthropod head has been one of the most controversial topics in zoology, with a large number of theories being proposed to account for it over the last century. Although fossils have been recognized as being of potential importance in resolving the issue, a lack of consensus over their systematics has obscured their contribution. By analyzing Cambrian fossils from the Burgess Shale and elsewhere, Budd proposes a family tree he claims ties the arthropods, chelicerates and onycophorans together. But problems remain. He notes in closing, As the mouth started terminal within the clade (thus supporting the Ecdysozoa concept), any deep pre-oral structure would have to have migrated behind the mouth before the origin of the Ecdysozoa, and then remigrated anteriorly again when the mouth became ventralized. Such a structure has yet to be identified. ... This analysis brings fresh insight into, but does not resolve, the continuing problem presented by the chelicerate chelicera.... He presents several possibilities of which appendages should be considered homologous.
Software engineers have coined the satirical term vaporware to describe software products that are marketed but not yet built. The sales department is out there at the customer site crowing about the wonderful features the new product has (and demonstrating a scripted front-end facade without the processing engine behind it), while the poor programmers are back at the home office scratching their heads on how to write the code. The product may have started as a pipe dream, and consist of nothing more than a flowchart of putative subroutines that have not even been written. There may be major hurdles, dependencies on other technologies not yet invented, algorithms not yet developed, concepts not fully understood, and doubts whether solutions are even possible. The software engineers may not even know how to begin.Mendel Museum Laundered of Religion 05/15/2002
Science has triumphed over religion in an argument over an exhibition about Gregor Mendel, the Augustine monk who discovered the laws of heredity, reports Nature, May 16 in the News in Brief section. The current abbot had asked that the religious background to Mendels life and work form part of the exhibition (see Nature 410, 6; 2001), but dropped this request after the abbey agreed to host annual workshops on bioethics. The scene is the Brno monastery in the Czech Republic, home of the Mendelianum museum and the place where Gregor Mendel conducted his epochal experiments on peas. The current abbot was unhappy with the exhibit designers, according to the March 1, 2001 news item in Nature, because their museum places too much emphasis on the scientific aspects of Mendels life. The abbot, they say, wants a new exhibition of Mendels life that will reflect his religious beliefs as well as his scientific interests. Apparently he gave a year for the museum committee to come up with a proposal, and when they stalled and he turned up the heat, they mounted a disinformation campaign against him. Abbott Lukas Evzen Martinec was upset not only about the low religious content of the display, but also that the museums owners have not uncovered religious motifs that were hidden during the communist days. Apparently Martinec has now compromised and agreed to keep Mendels religion out of the exhibit. Mendel will be remembered as scientist, not monk.
We dont need Stalin and Kruschev to turn churches into museums of atheism any more; we have the scientific establishment to carry on the work of the Ministry of Truth. Mendels faith in God as Creator was a prime motivation for his rigorous, groundbreaking work that is not only the foundation of genetics, but a model of experimental method. How can this part of his character be erased without doing a great injustice to his legacy? What is so awful about Christian faith that it must be expunged from anything portrayed as scientific? Many of the greatest scientists through history were Christians and creationists. It is a Big Lie to turn them into proponents of materialist philosophy. Nature should be embarrassed to portray this as a triumph of science over religion, perpetuating a false dichotomy and supporting the whitewashing of history.Mars Meteorite Is Dead 05/15/2002
ALH84001 has fallen from grace, according to a report in Space.Com. Ed Scott and David Barber were able to provide a natural process for the creation of the magnetites that believers had claimed was a biological signature. They claim also that the magnetites are oriented with other nonbiological components of the rock, and must have formed at the same time, probably during impact on the surface. So was the hubbub over life in the Mars rock a waste of time? One of the researchers, Ed Scott, replied, You could argue that it has been a major stimulus in helping to integrate geology and biology in the planetary sciences. Its no longer okay to focus only on the living or the non-living. We have discovered exciting new connections on the Earth and on Mars. It is not enough to address the simple question are we alone? We have to understand more complex questions that lend a new perspective to planetary science. Why is Earth so different from Mars and Venus? How special is the Earth? How common are Earth-like planets?
These questions are all adequately answered by Isaiah 45:18, but let them search. Its a bonanza for the space program, and gives us a lot of fun material to report on.Hubble Pillars of Creation Eroding Fast 05/15/2002
The 1995 Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula was one of the most popular photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Its long narrow pillars of gas were said to be the nursery for many new stars. New images with the NICMOS infrared camera, however, show that the gas is eroding quickly, and any stars being formed are only at a few of the tips. In a million years (less than a hundredth of one percent of the assumed age of the universe) the nebula would be gone, says the BBC News. It claims that the Orion Nebula, however, is actively forming many stars.
The Eagle Nebula is beautiful, but it shows destructive processes at work, not creative processes. You cant always believe the initial interpretations put forth in the press release.Governor Apologizes to Eugenics Victims 05/14/2002
According to Dr. David A. DeWitt writing for Answers in Genesis, Governor Mark Warner of Virginia on May 2 apologized to the 20,000 who were sterilized against their will as part of eugenics programs to keep those designated as unfit from reproducing. DeWitt argues that the eugenics program was motivated by Darwinism, the belief that the human race would advance by keeping out the unfit. Carl Wieland in a reprint from Creation magazine explains the background of the Lynchburg experiments, in which victims were lied to for their own good by perpetrators and a test Supreme Court case was built on a fabrication.
Ideas have consequences. You will know them by their fruits. Have we learned from history? The same evolutionary philosophy is pushing cloning, stem-cell research, designer babies and sexual selection. Who is being lied to now, for their own good?New Zogby Poll Shows Ohioans Support Intelligent Design 05/14/2002
In his Weekly Wedge Update for May 14, Mark Hartwig points to a new Zogby International Poll that finds that 78% of Ohio residents agree with the statement, When Darwins theory of evolution is taught in school, students should also be able to learn about scientific evidence that points to an intelligent design of life. Only 10% indicated strongly disagree with the statement. The poll was commissioned by the Discovery Institute.
We do not place undue value on polls, since truth is not determined by majority vote, and since polls can be influenced by factors difficult to quantify, such as the tone of voice of the questioner, the stress level of the respondent, lack of knowledge of the subject, perceptions created by the media, etc. But this poll is in line with others, including national polls, and the results are fairly consistent from year to year. It is remarkable that despite intense indoctrination for decades, the public is not buying the line that Darwinism should have sole mention in the schools. The Darwin-only party must be running scared with the Ohio school board slated to vote this year on whether to allow alternatives to evolution in the states public schools. Many parents, though, are probably elated.PBS Evolution Series Re-Airs Starting This Week 05/14/2002
The eight-hour PBS series Evolution that premiered last September, two weeks after the terrorist attacks, is slated to run one segment a week this month starting May 14-17 (check local listings). Mark Hartwig in his Weekly Wedge Update says the ratings tanked last time, but prospects are not much better this time around. Apparently, many local stations are airing the series in the dead of night, for example 10:00 p.m. in Los Angeles.
See our review of the series from last time, and also the Discovery Institute analysis, the Access Research Network coverage, and Answers in Genesis reviews. The AIG site also reviews the current TV miniseries Dinotopia.Another DNA-Mending Protein Discovered 05/14/2002
Scientific American reports on a research paper that identified a protein named ATR as able to mend DNA damaged by ultraviolet light. The researchers explain, ATR appears to act as a switch that starts the repair process and also stops cells from proliferating while they are being repaired.
This and the following story are two more data points to prove the Law of Creation-Evolution Headlines, which states that Evolutionary speculation is inversely proportional to the raw data available for analysis. This story begins, Physicians have long marveled at the bodys ability to heal itself, and proceeds to describe, without a hint of evolutionary speculation, empirical observations of a complex system that bears the hallmarks of intelligent design. The next story is all evolutionary speculation with no data.How Abundant Is Life in the Universe? 05/14/2002
Two physicists from Australia are optimistic that life is common in space, reports Nature Science Update. They feel this way because, according to current thinking, life evolved quickly on the earth in only half a billion years. Charles Lineweaver and Tamara Davis of the University of New South Wales in Sydney argue that, despite our sample of habitable planets being but one, we are not as ignorant about life elsewhere as it might seem, the report says.
Totally unjustified speculation. There is no basis for calculation; there is no data. You cannot build a statistical case on a sample of one! Moreover, they just assume life evolved here, so the whole argument is circular. This is the kind of nonsense that gets published uncritically by an establishment that cannot face the fact that complex specified information does not arise without intelligence. Name one example, anywhere! If you found a watch in the woods, would you be justified in speculating that all forests have watches, and that they arose spontaneously half a billion years after the forest formed?College Denied Accreditation for Stance on Creation 05/13/2002
Conservative News Service reports that Patrick Henry College, a conservative college in Virginia, was denied accreditation by the American Academy for Liberal Education. Part of the decision was its insistence that faculty members, including those in the science department, adhere to the Genesis account of creation, even though they are free to teach evolution. The president of the college accuses the accreditation board of viewpoint discrimination and inconsistent standards of freedom of thought. The board denies that it rejected the school based on its creationist beliefs, saying, We have religious schools that are members of our organization that teach creationism, but they teach it in the theology department; they dont teach it in the science department.
Here we have a strange thing, where freedom of thought and open inquiry are supposed to the highest virtues, yet a colleges right to teach what it stands for (even though they present all sides) is forbidden. Lets be fair and apply the same standard to all the state universities in the country, in which you can teach the wildest forms of Marxism or sexual perversion or pagan mythology but risk censure, hate speech and removal if you dare to go against the politically-correct straitjacket of thought. Restricting creationism (why dont they be consistent here and call the opposing view evolutionism) to theology, not science, is a tacit statement that it is subjective and irrelevant to the real world. Then be fair and call evolutionism the same, because evolutionism is not only subjective, it is contrary to observable scientific laws, and has never been observed. If you dont accept this conclusion, you havent been reading Creation-Evolution Headlines.More People Report No Religion But What Does It Mean? 05/13/2002
The 1990s saw a steep rise (from 7% to 14%) in respondents reporting no religious preference, say Berkeley sociologists whose research is described in EurekAlert. Yet analysis of the responses shows it is not due to rising skepticism or atheism, since the same respondents report believing in God, prayer and the afterlife. The sociologists believe it is tied to increasing politicization of organized religion. The trend was largest among liberals and moderates. An increasing number were found to be falling away from the religion of their parents, or were found to have had no religious upbringing.
It is always risky to try to interpret statistics like this, since there are so many variables. But one has to wonder if the liberal churches that embrace evolution are causing their young people to see religion as less and less relevant to the real world.Earths Storm Windows IMAGEd in Action 05/10/2002
NASAs new IMAGE spacecraft (launched March 2000) has learned some new things about the upper ionosphere, a tenuous belt of charged particles that protects us from solar radiation. Traveling at 450 miles per second, charged particles from the sun (the solar wind) would impact our atmosphere directly if earth had no magnetic field, and gradually erode it away. Fortunately, most of the harmful radiation is diverted around the earth by the magnetic field, but it still sets up electric currents of a trillion watts into our magnetosphere. The IMAGE spacecraft has learned that the upper ionosphere, like a heat shield, throws off some of its own charged oxygen atoms immediately during solar storms, absorbing some of the suns fierce energy. These ejected particles get trapped by earths magnetic field and form a billion-degree plasma around the planet. Behind the earth, the magnetic field stretches into a long magnetotail, that sometimes snaps back some of these charged particles up to 2500 miles per second. Some of these flow down magnetic field lines at the poles, contributing to the northern lights. During a space storm, our ionosphere can give up several hundred tons of material as it protects the biosphere down below. This process is explained and illustrated with still images and animations at the NASA press release. You can monitor the space weather with its solar storms at SpaceWeather.com.
The warm summer sun, seen from a beach or resort, seems so pleasant and peaceful. But in reality it is like a machine gunner aiming its weapons of terror right at us. If our planet did not deploy its homeland security forces, we would be cooked. Mars may have had a thicker atmosphere in the past, but lacking a global magnetic field, now has only 1% of earths atmospheric shield, and is thereby subjected to high levels of radiation that will make future manned visits dangerous (see our March 18 headline about Mars Odysseys new measurements of the radiation environment). Venus has a very thick atmosphere to protect itself, but at a price: the surface is nearly 900 degrees F. Only on earth are all the factors just right. Earths amazing ionosphere, working in concert with the magnetic field, acts like a self-regulating, buffering storm window, that shields us from violence while allowing us to see the twinkling stars at night. It is just one of dozens of coincidences that make life possible on the most beautiful place in the universe we know.Animal Tracks a Billion Years Old, Researchers Claim 05/10/2002
Squiggly tracks made possibly by some unknown multicellular organism have been found in Australia, claim Aussie researchers publishing in the May 10 issue of Science. They say, Although nonbiological origins for the discoidal impressions cannot be completely discounted, the structures resembling trace fossils clearly have a biological origin and suggest the presence of vermiform, mucus-producing, motile organisms. Yet the rocks theyre in they dated at 1.2 to 2 billion years old. It had better be at the low end of the range, says one of the researchers; It would make it easier for me to sleep at night. The previous record for a multicellular fossil was alleged at 600 million years.
Evolutionists keep shooting themselves in the foot by trying to set records. Within their own thinking, this puts the rise of multicellular organisms earlier and earlier, not giving evolution enough time. But most likely, theyre just seeing things. Lots of rocks have squiggly lines. The raw data do not justify the interpretation.The Eye: Best of All Possible Optics? 05/09/2002
The eye has a problem: different wavelengths focus differently. Blue light, with a shorter wavelength, is more sensitive to longitudinal and transverse chromatic aberration than red. With one lens, and one retina, how does the eye achieve good focus across all wavelengths? How does it avoid contrast reversal when scanning across a scene? Scientists have thought that the blue-sensitive cones used macular pigment to selectively absorb short wavelengths to offset the effects of aberration. But now, writing in the May 9 Nature, four optical experts from Spain and Massachusetts have calculated and measured the optical quality of real eyes, and found that blue light is not as blurred as previously thought. For one thing, the blue-sensitive cones in the retina have a narrower bandwidth that limits the blurring, and the red and green sensitive cones have bandwidth that overlaps somewhat. The scientists did experiments with human subjects and also took into account monochromatic aberration across the full spectrum of visible light and the spatial density of the different cones across the retina. They found that, although there were trade-offs and compromises, all the cones, working together, achieve the optimum response with minimum aberration:
It has been widely assumed that chromatic defocus from the eyes optics degrades the retinal image of short-wavelength light. But this assumption has not previously been tested in a manner that takes into account all of the eyes optical aberrations, measured at multiple wavelengths. We have shown that there is actually little variability in the eyes image quality, as quantified by MTF [modulation transfer function, a measure of image contrast quality], across the visible spectrum. Wave aberrations cause the visual system to sacrifice resolution at a single wavelength but allow it to gain approximate constancy in spatial sensitivity across the spectrum. This constancy might provide an even more effective solution to the problems of chromatic blur than could be attained by attenuation and sparse sampling of short-wavelength light in an eye with perfect optics.(emphasis added). Their paper is entitled, Imperfect optics may be the eyes defence against chromatic blur. They also suspect that macular pigment, not therefore needed to improve optical quality, may instead be present to help protect the eye from high-wavelength damage.
This is just one example of the kind of detail in engineering the body performs so effortlessly, that we take for granted. In evolutionary terms, every little improvement would be caused by accident, and would have to benefit survival so much that all without the accident die. Clearly, intelligent design is the superior explanation. Here we see the interesting design approach that, given the physical constraints of the laws of electromagnetic radiation, designing an apparent imperfection can actually lead to greater overall performance! How did the eye figure that out?Whale Evolution Hinged on Inner Ear Shrinkage 05/09/2002
Even before the publication in Nature May 10 came out, the news media like the BBC News were jumping on a story about whales ears and evolution. Scientific American explains that computed tomography of the semicircular canals in fossil whale skulls indicates they shrunk rapidly (5 million years) while the rest of the skeleton took 10 million years to go from dog-like animal to blue whale. Once the semicircular canals, which are essential for balance on land but presumably less so in water, shrank, they would have rendered the animal useless on land, so this must have marked a point of no return.
The paper is another by Hans Thewissen, one of the staunchest advocates of whale evolution. We want to see the raw data on which this tale of a whale rests. When you sweep away the cobwebs of storytelling, not much remains. Since the delicate soft tissues of semicircular canals would likely not fossilize, how much of their size and shape is inferred? How did they identify the fossil? How did they date it? How much of the story was force-fit into the theory of whale evolution? How do they know the effect of canal size on the actual vertigo experienced by a whale? Why would a walking mammal want to live in the water the same time its semicircular canals shrunk by a mutation?Mark Hartwig Carries Torch of the Weekly Wedge Update 05/08/2002
Taking over from Phillip Johnson, Mark Hartwig is continuing the Weekly Wedge Update that reports on Intelligent Design news and issues. His first entry for May 5 analyzes anti-creationist Lawrence Krausss recent tirade against creationist pseudoscience. Oxford Scientists Debunk Evolutionary Theory of Altruism 05/07/2002
The kin-selection theory by William Hamilton in 1963 is often regarded as one of the most (or even the most) important evolutionary insights of the recently finished century by Darwinists, purporting to explain altruism: why one animal will sacrifice itself for the good of the group. Hamilton devised a formula that related how an individuals altruistic behavior could affect the fitness of the population and therefore be preserved genetically; basically, the benefit to the receiver of the altruism (reproductive success) exceeded the cost to the giver. Theories of sex-ratio conflicts were used to explain the evolution of colonial insects like ants and bees that control the reproduction of caste members (workers, queens) to affect the fitness of the colony. Many evolutionists regarded these ideas as compatible and complementary. But now, in a paper entitled, Sex-ratio conflicts, kin selection and the evolution of altruism, in the May 7 online preprints of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Oxford zoologists Wladimir J. Alonso and Cynthia Schuck-Paim have shown Hamiltons Rule and kin selection theories, and the examples cited to illustrated them, to be untested, untestable, vague, self-contradictory and circular. The theories provide no basis for the encoding of genes that would originate or perpetuate the observed social organization strategies and behaviors.
This is a damaging paper; it offers no alternative, other than possibly the selfish gene concept (a personification fallacy), but spends most of its time undermining the theoretical, logical and experimental bases for these theories which have been touted for years as great Darwinian insights even applied to humans. Notice that creationists did not write this paper: it is published in PNAS, and was reviewed by Edward O. Wilson, the strongly anti-creationist Harvard biologist who sees the whole of reality in terms of evolution. When evolutionists undermine their own theories, including ones that have been called one of the most (if not the most) important evolutionary insights of the 20th century, are we to merely acquiesce to the dogmatic claims that evolution is a fact? Few people will read and appreciate this paper in PNAS, but millions will watch a Discovery Channel program on the evolution of altruism and be led to believe that human altruism and romance are just survival mechanisms explained by Darwinian theory. Darwin is the Wizard of Oz that dazzles its subjects with awesome powers. Here at Creation-Evolution Headlines, we pull back the curtain.Like a Diamond in the Sky 05/07/2002
Space dust may contain nanometer-sized diamonds, thinks Geoffrey Clayton of Louisiana State, who wrote his theory in the June 10 issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters. If so, the Milky Way could contain 1041 grams of diamonds a million trillion trillion trillion carats. For a summary, see Nature Science Update.
The spectral signature could come from something else, so this should be taken only as a preliminary suggestion, although diamond dust has also been found in meteorites. Werent we taught diamonds needed the intense heat and pressure of the earth for their formation? However they formed, this finding, if true, should add new luster to our stargazing. (But teach your kids this is not what makes stars twinkle.)Looking for Life on Asteroids 05/06/2002
Exclusive Dr. Freeman Dyson, a visionary scientist of international renown told employees of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Monday that watery planets may not be the only place to look for life. If life forms could concentrate sunlight, such as focusing it through transparent domes, they could survive on the surfaces of small asteroids. Since near encounters of small rocky bodies in the outer solar system are not that rare, life forms might transfer between them and proliferate on small asteroids. Any life form that adapted successfully to a vacuum environment would be likely to spread widely over objects with icy surfaces in the outer regions of the solar system, he speculates.
When you come to California, you expect to find Fantasyland in Anaheim, not Pasadena. If you want to wish upon a star and have your dreams come true, head south of JPL about 30 miles, and there you can create imaginary worlds where flowers evolve in the vacuum of space with little light-collecting domes around them, riding asteroids like Sky Ride gondolas around the solar system. Yet Dysons fantasyland, pure speculation with no evidence whatsoever, was presented in all seriousness at a scientific research institution. He believes, like most Darwinists, in a sort of pantheistic vitalism, that imagines that atoms wish to organize themselves into life forms and then populate every niche in the universe. When asked why an organism, living comfortably at a warm hydrothermal vent under Europas ice, would ever want to migrate out to the vacuum of space, when every step would have to provide a selective advantage (i.e., time for the Reality Check), Dyson replied with a chuckle from the audience that the details are a little fuzzy. Fuzzy was he.Protein Interactions Prove Evolution? 05/06/2002
A summary report in EurekAlert for May 6 begins with this announcement: A fundamental principle of biology is that all life evolved from a common microbial ancestor that appeared on Earth billions of years ago. This basic tenet of evolutionary theory has been affirmed by the recent flurry of genome maps showing that a wide variety of species - from yeast to roundworms to humans - carry thousands of virtually identical genes in their DNA. It proceeds to discuss a paper in the April 26 Science where research compared yeast and roundworm DNA, and found instances where proteins with the fewest interactions appeared to evolve the fastest.
From the bluffing first paragraph, one would think were at a boxing match and the judge is holding up the hand of Darwin, who has just delivered a knockout punch, and shouting And the winner is... Darwin! Time for an instant replay. What does the paper in Science prove?Astrobiologists Envision All Scientific Disciplines Converging Into Planetary Biology 05/03/2002
So what else is new? Evolutionists have prided themselves on explaining molecules to man for a long time, and the pride parade continues. It appears especially unrestrained, however, in a paper in the May 3 issue of Science, Planetary Biology Paleontological, Geological, and Molecular Histories of Life in which they envision a synthesis of all scientific inquiry yielding a complete and unified picture of life history:
[Intro] The history of life on Earth is chronicled in the geological strata, the fossil record, and the genomes of contemporary organisms. When examined together, these records help identify metabolic and regulatory pathways, annotate protein sequences, and identify animal models to develop new drugs, among other features of scientific and biomedical interest. Together, planetary analysis of genome and proteome databases is providing an enhanced understanding of how life interacts with the biosphere and adapts to global change. ...The paper is by four scientists from the University of Florida, including two who are members of the NASA Astrobiology Institute.
We give these rather lengthy quotes to give readers a feel for the thinking of astrobiologists who permeate NASA and our universities. Logical positivism is alive and well. There isnt a single point of evidence they present which we have not repeatedly shown to be flawed, irrelevant, mistaken, weak, or flat wrong, here at Creation-Evolution Headlines. But out of this house of cards they erect a complete world view that explains our origin from atoms up, and illuminates our mission forward to utopia. Weinbergs Corollary states, An expert is someone who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the Grand Fallacy.God Dont Make No Junk, continued 05/03/2002
Junk DNA and junk brain cells continue to reveal purpose, according to new reports. A paper in the May 3 issue of Science claims that scientists have missed, by an order of magnitude, the DNA transcriptional activity of certain noncoding sections of chromosomes 20 and 21. The authors give some reasons why scientists didnt see the activity before, and are not sure yet what the transcribed portions are used for, but appear convinced something interesting is going on: ...the function of these identified transcripts must await additional characterization and perhaps reveal a hidden transcriptome (i.e., a kind of genetic library of procedures for using the information in the DNA genome).
Update 05/13/2002: Another researcher finds that L1 transposable elements, which make up about 17% of the human genome and were thought to be useless relics of our evolutionary past, may have an important function in DNA repair. Story in EurekAlert.
Well restrain ourselves from the temptation to say, We told you so.Fossil Flower Found in China: Does It Shed Light on Darwins Abominable Mystery? 05/03/2002
The May 3 issue of Science contains a report of a new fossil plant found in the Liaoning Province of China, where many surprising and detailed fossils have been found. Erik Stokstad in his Perspective in the same issue is very optimistic that this fossil will shed light on the origin of angiosperms (flowering plants), called an abominable mystery by Charles Darwin and poorly documented according to the discoverers. But Nature Science Update says the new find, named Archaefructae (ancient fruit) is not a missing link, but an evolutionary dead end.
Stokstads optimism is unfounded, since the discoverers consider this a sister taxon to the angiosperms. Your sister is not your grandmother. The fossil shows a well adapted, complex plant with fully formed reproductive systems; all the evolutionary talk is inference. Watch for it in their statements (emphasis added):Saddam Plans to Re-Open Ashurbanipals Library 05/03/2002The lack of similarity between Archaefructus and other known fossil plants during the Upper Jurassic/Lower Cretaceous provides us with more information about the primitive angiosperm (as defined by the characteristic of seeds enclosed in carpels) than it does about related pre-angiospermous seed plants. However, it should be noted that, like other angiosperms (both fossil and living), Archaefructus does not represent the original angiosperm and likely had its own derived features. The complex of features seen in Archaefructus provides an important point of extrapolation to the original angiosperm, suggesting the possibility that it lacked petals and sepals (previous phylogenies without Archaefructus favor an ancestor with a perianth) and may have been a submerged aquatic (like some Nymphaeales). Archaefructus is, rather, part of a complex basal group in angiosperm evolution.In other words, this plant bears no relationship to other alleged ancestors of the flowering plants; it is unique. The authors admit the relationship to other groups does not lend itself to easy interpretation. It appears to support one side of two controversial theories on the origin of flowering plants, both of which are poorly documented in the fossil record. This is why it is important to look at the original source material, like we do on Creation-Evolution Headlines, and not merely accept the spin put on it by the science writers and news media who tend to accept scientists pronouncements without question. The abominable mystery of the origin of angiosperms is not going to be solved with the assumption only natural causes are to be considered. Like Sherlock Holmes, we must approach the phenomenon with the freedom to consider whether it was an accident or intentional.
Saddam Hussein is planning a research center for the study of cuneiform tablets, including out of the million found in his country the 25,000 clay tablets from Ashurbanipals library. Ashurbanipal (668 - 627 BC) built his library 400 years before the famous one at Alexandria. Fortunately, the clay tablets survived the fire that destroyed Nineveh in The plans for the center at Mosul University are discussed in the May 3 issue of Science. It is also hoped this will spur efforts to rescue sites threatened by the new dam (see the March 23 headline).
Saddam may be more interested in national prestige and a legacy for himself than the advancement of scholarship, but any effort to explore the many thousands of untranslated tablets and bring them to life is better than letting them lie in boxes or in the dust within the borders of his police state. Ashurbanipal, who fashioned himself a learned man (as well as a ruthless dictator), is mentioned in the Bible in Ezra 4:10. Compare some of Ashurbanipals proverbs with Solomons. Interestingly, Ashurbanipal referred to the great Flood as a historical fact.Book Review 05/03/2002: Stephen Jay Gould in his latest book, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, attacks creationists for hijacking his punctuated equilibria hypothesis and turning into an argument against evolution. On the Answers in Genesis website, Don Batten defends the argument as the time-honored debate tactic of calling a hostile witness. He gives examples of Goulds writings that point out severe shortcomings of neo-Darwinism, and shows how the two antagonistic camps of Darwinists hate each other, but are united in their hate of creationists, their common enemy.
Next headline on: Darwinism and Evolutionary Theory.
Neptunes Ring Arcs Still Mysterious 05/02/2002
This was an odd and unexpected discovery. Ring particles are subject to continuous disruption and bombardment by micrometeorites, subatomic particles, collisions, gas drag and gravitational perturbations by nearby moons. That rings exist at all around the four gas giants is puzzling, if the solar system is 4.5 billion years old, but that some of Neptunes should be confined to clumps and arcs was startling and totally unexpected. Planetary scientists may someday figure out how to keep them going for long time periods, but for 4.5 billion years? It would seem very difficult to explain how something so tenuous could be that persistent, because the moons like Galatea are themselves undergoing orbital changes. Thats why most planetary scientists feel that rings formed recently, and we are just lucky to have evolved at the same time too see them. Another possibility never considered is that maybe the solar system is not that old. When Cassini gets to Saturn in 2004, we can probably expect more mysteries of the rings to be unveiled.Did Darwin Invent Molecular Motors? 05/01/2002
George Oster, a Berkeley biologist, in a commentary in the May 2 Nature gives Darwin the credit for explaining molecular motors like ATP synthase. After explaining how molecular motors harness random brownian motion to ratchet themselves into directed processes, he concludes:
One of the most remarkable motor enzymes is F1Fo ATPase, possibly lifes most abundant protein, which catalyses the production of ATP. (Every day, we produce - and consume - about half our body weight in ATP!) This enzyme consists of two rotary motors attached to a common shaft. The F1 motor generates a power stroke using ATP as its fuel; the Fo motor is almost a pure brownian ratchet that uses the binding and release of protons flowing through it to rectify its rotational diffusion. More than any other, this protein has illuminated our knowledge of the miniature motors that form the true basis of Browns molecules of life.
We thought about it, and decided a clearer case of intellectual blindness could hardly be found. This scientist has just attributed exquisite molecular machines, the most efficient true motors in the universe, to chance! He blindly believes that undirected natural processes, in spite of the law of entropy, will self-organize into miniature factories of interrelated parts. Read up on ATP synthase and ask yourself if this kind of complexity would ever arise without intelligent design, let alone thousands of machines all working together in the simplest living cell and coordinated by the most elaborately detailed assemblage of information in universe, the DNA code. Oster calls these Darwins motors, for crying out loud. We have here the equivalent of idolaters bowing down to sticks and stones that neither see nor hear, while refusing to acknowledge their Maker. There is no excuse.Evolution Takes the Romance Out of Relationships 05/01/2002
A press release about a paper in the upcoming May 7 issue of the Biological Proceedings of the Royal Society begins:
A candlelit dinner, fresh flowers, an unexpected gift - all the elements of a fine romance? Or are they part of an evolutionary strategy developed by men to keep track of their women, and keep them away from other men, during fertile periods?It proceeds to explain that women prefer affairs during ovulation and men are stimulated to protect their partners at that time, all because of intersexual selection:
Females may sometimes benefit reproductively from having males other than their partner sire offspring - for example to increase genetic quality or diversity in offspring. This would certainly be the case for ancestral women. Similar notions predict the mens counter strategy: greater vigilance - a need to know their partners whereabouts and activities. Male partners will enhance their reproductive interests by reducing the probability of investment in offspring not their own. But this begs the question of what cues men use to detect the potential period of risk? There may be subtle clues in your partners scent or visual signs, says Prof. Gangestad. Or it may be a response to the partners behaviour, such as an increased interest in other men.The original paper is entitled, Changes in womens sexual interests and their partners mate-retention tactics across the menstrual cycle: evidence for shifting conflicts of interest by Gangestad, Thornhill and Garver.
Conflicts of interest by whom? Your selfish genes, of course. Begs the question is an understatement; the whole premise of this paper assumes evolution to demonstrate evolution. How does this junk science get published? Reductionist evolutionary science has made humans the pawns of selfish genes that are playing games with us. The Darwinists have dehumanized people and made them nothing but gene propagators. Art, music, architecture, scholarship, literature, philosophy, religion, compassion, relationships are all incidental artifacts of this unending struggle to cheat others to get our own genes propagated endlessly. But why? Why would genes want to do this anyway? Do you care? Does it matter to you as an individual, in the long run, if you have shuffled your cards and handed them off to someone else, but lost your own soul?